Drama-based interventions to support the inclusion of learners with ADHD in Algerian English as a foreign language classrooms


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Layachi, Aida ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4271-2746 (2022). Drama-based interventions to support the inclusion of learners with ADHD in Algerian English as a foreign language classrooms. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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While the debate around the conceptualisation of inclusion continues, there remains a paucity of evidence on practical inclusion strategies/interventions for diverse learners in EFL classes. EFL classes require specific attention as learning a foreign language can be very demanding for learners in general, and learners with SEN in particular. This is mainly due to the social, academic, and pragmatic difficulties that learners with SEN, such as ADHD, exhibit. Further, a high value is placed upon EFL classes in non-native English speaking communities. Given that the English language has become a part and parcel of very many fields and vocations, learning English as an additional/foreign language has become very important for non-native English speakers.

Accordingly, drama-based approaches to increasing inclusion in EFL classes were designed and their impact evaluated in this study. The study aimed to develop an intervention to promote learning in a class of students (which included some learners with ADHD). Specifically, the intervention entailed the development of a drama-based programme that employed a set of play and improvisation activities delivered by EFL teachers. The intervention was carried out four times a week over a period of six weeks in an Algerian middle school. In order to evaluate the intervention, a mixed-method explanatory sequential design within a critical realist framework was followed. As such, data were collected at two distinct phases. The initial phase of the study aimed to assess the effectiveness of the intervention. This employed several tools of data collection such as pre and post-intervention Social Inclusion Surveys (SIS), Academic Performance Tests (APT), and classroom observation. The second phase of the study aimed to explore the participants’ experiences and perspectives. This employed qualitative tools of semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. A total of sixty student participants (10-13 years old), six of which were students with ADHD, and two EFL teachers were recruited in the study.

The findings of the study suggested an overall positive influence of the intervention on the learners’ social and academic development. The quantitative findings indicated: (i) an increase in the learners’ academic performance in reading, listening, and speaking; but (ii) not in the writing performance; (iii) a decrease in the rejection levels of all the learners; (iv) an increase in the acceptance levels of all the learners. Furthermore, the qualitative data captured different but overall positive experiences of the intervention. Specifically, the findings revealed an increase in the students’ engagement, participation, social acceptance, and sense of belonging. Improvements across the social and academic domains were observed in students with ADHD in line with the group as a whole. As a result, the drama-based intervention appears to be of universal benefit in the EFL classroom. Even though the study does not purport to be generalisable, it can be used to inform researchers/practitioners regarding ways of boosting the social and academic inclusion of EFL learners with and without ADHD. The study contributes to our understanding of inclusion that recognises the interaction of academic and social factors, and how drama-based teaching approaches can facilitate this interaction. By considering the Algerian context, the study could contribute to inclusion practices in EFL classrooms and may offer ideas for supporting the social development of learners with ADHD.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LD Individual institutions (United States)
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/13024


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